Second Child Blues

Yesterday I was chatting with another special needs mommy on Facebook. She and her husband have decided to adopt their other children after much discussion about her son’s genetic condition. I’m not doing a good job at explaining–her post on the subject is here.

Hubby and I both want another child and in the course of this chat I told her, “I want another child–I just don’t want to be pregnant again.” And boom! there it was. Sometimes you don’t know what’s holding you back until you say it out loud (or, type it).
I really feel guilty even talking about this. The special needs community is filled with mothers who have BAD pregnancies. I’m talking hospital stays, way too early deliveries, preeclampsia, other things that seem a lot worse than what I went through.

You see, my pregnancy was fine physically. I was tired, had a touch of sciatica now and then, but other than that, I was fine.

Mentally, I was a wreck. I was anxious, cried at the drop of hat, worried incessantly about everything, and obsessed over things long since passed. It was bad. You see, pregnancy pretty much destroys any and all coping mechanisms I’ve developed. For crying out loud, you can’t even take a hot bath when you’re pregnant. I spent much of my last pregnancy worrying, worrying, and you know, checking some website to see what was happening with my baby this week.

Tension levels were high at my house and according to my doctor, the baby was fine. I can only imagine what I’ll be like now that I know how bad things can go at the end.

So. . . .

I guess that once you’ve said something out loud, acknowledged it and all that, you can try to figure out what to do about it. I’m not exactly sure what my plan is, but I’m thinking maybe going to a perinatoligist provided I get pregnant? Really, I don’t know what to do. I’m just figuring the whole thing out as I go along. . .
Pictures are of our version of an Easter Egg Hunt–Charlie HATED that grass!
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  1. i'm with you. i'm absolutely TERRIFIED to get pregnant again… too long of a story to get into here… but believe me when I say that I can so relate.

    love the pics of Charlie!

  2. I have had the worst pregnancies…everything you listed ~ happened to me. I almost died with eclampsia with Sadie.

    No more for me…I can't do it.

    Ugh…. sad but true. You know, I felt a little relieved reading this post. I've never really shared how aweful pregnancy is for me…. because most people I encounter LOVE to be pregnant.

    Anyway, Charlie's not fond of Easter grass, huh?

    Have a good day friend! New Vlog up at my site!

  3. Kristin says:

    Is anyone a fan of that grass?

  4. Mommy07 says:

    My 1st pregnant (Noah) was the happiest time in my life, until he was born with a swollen brain and was having neonatal seizures. The nightmare of his birth and the subsequent worry and horror of his first months/year haunts me to this day and as time has healed it a bit it is something I will never fully get over. Since Noah is typically developing and is such a "miracle" in terms of statistics I am often afraid some other shoe will drop.
    Now that I am 32 weeks pregnant with number 2 ( following a miscarriage between Noah and this pregnancy) I must say it's been a bit easier than I expected. Up until this point I have been shoving the "what if's" aside and trying to forge on taking it one day at a time. I must say however, since we don't know what on earth caused Noah's brain injury I am horrified, petrified, so so so frightened to give birth. I wish I could just be "put out" for a day following baby boy #2's birth. Seriously I am not sure how I will deal but in the end I know simply I just will. To me the benefits outweigh the horrible risks although I can't wait to see and hear that my baby is healthy!!!

  5. I am one of those that had the pregnancy from hell and had preeclampsia and gestational diabetes and oligo and pre term labor… You name it, we had it. I think that whether you have a horrible pregnancy or a perfectly delightful one, if your child ends up with problems then the days of blissful pregnancy are over. It is like you have entered a world you can't leave. I think that there is some idea in most people that all pregnancies are happy and end with a healthy mom and healthy baby going home to live happily ever after. Sadly enough, for whatever the variety of reasons, it just isn't that way. Once you have entered that "other world" it is hard to go back. I think a perinatologist is a great idea! You and your baby will be watched very closely and I think that is necessary! I think it is perfectly normal and ok to be terrified and you need to be somewhere that can help you through that. My best wishes to you!

  6. Paulette says:

    I felt a lot like you in my first pregnancy, Katy. Emotionally, I was a mess. Coworkers used to tell me I needed to smile more, and I wanted to punch them when they told me that. I worried about everything and in the end, what ended up happening wasn't anything remotely close to the things I spent time worrying about. I really think my frame of mind was all hormonal. Looking back I wish I had been able to enjoy it more because I didn't know that anything bad was going on. Ironically enough, this time around I'm feeling pretty peaceful about everything. I still have my moments of worrying, but I feel like everything is out of my control anyway. All I can do is take care of myself, rest, going to my appointments, and enjoy my daughter. Oh, and therapy helps, too :)

  7. Small Town Girl says:

    I can only imagine what I'll be like when I'm pregnant….I doubt it's going to be good.

    It's okay to want another child and not want to be pregnant again. There are tons of kids who need good families!

  8. Amy Genn says:

    Katy – I'm the exact opposite of you. I WANT to be pregnant again, and I had a wonderful pregnancy (except the sciatica and water retention)…I was so happy to finally be having a baby. I never had morning sickness…it was great.
    My baby weighed 10 lbs 5 oz and got stuck. His life was altered forever because of some bad decisions made during his birth.

    So I am terrified of THE BIRTHING PROCESS. I think well, if I had a scheduled C-section maybe everything would be just fine….but there are no guarantees in life. :(

    Not to mention the fact my husband doesn't want more kids.
    AND my biological clock is banging like a gong! I'll be 38 this month.

    I'm really struggling with emotions about it all these days!

    Thanks for sharing! :)

  9. Wherever HE Leads We'll Go says:

    Oh you have hit a nerve with this post! I really really want another child. It just does not seem to be happening for us and I am NOT getting any younger!

    Of course, I am also terrified of the whole process. I didn't love being pregnant, but it went pretty smoothly. The birthing process is another story! I would absolutely have a c-section if I got pregnant again, but still there are no guarantees.

    One other commenter said exactly what I was thinking. Once you have gone through the trauma of a horrible pregnancy or birthing experience, once you have had a child born with brain damage, there is no going back. I could not go through a second pregnancy with that same naive thought that all will be well. I feel like Pandora's Box has been opened.

  10. says:

    Katy, being in the midst of it – it's everything! Hard, beautiful, scary, joyful. I knew I wanted more kids but was terrified of what could happen. Then finally about a year ago I said, to heck with it, we have to move on and keep living, what happened happened. My pregnancy with Nathan was super easy and uneventful – until the diagnosis at the end. But like everyone else is saying, once you know what can go wrong – it's terrifying! The funny thing is this pregnancy has been much much harder – I've had all sorts of difficulties, but along with it has come a profound joy, expectation, and peace. There are other options too – adoption is wonderful, there is also surrogacy. I think whatever you decide will be great. But one thing I have been learning and trying to live by – I don't want fear to take away my ability to live and experience life. That's pretty much why I decided I had to move on.

  11. It's felt really good to read what you wrote & the comments you're getting. I just turned 40 in February, & it's hard to fight my biological clock. But between my son's special needs & my fear of it happening again, having another child is just not going to happen. It's been hard for me to come to terms with it, because I love kids & always wanted to have two. But when I think about what is best for my family, I know I'm making the right choice. It's just so hard sometimes!

  12. Nadine Hightower says:

    I didn't mind being pregnant it was giving birth I didn't care for.

    I think when the time comes to add another to the family you will do what's best for you. And if that's adopting I'll be just as supportive of that too. There are lots of children that need a good stable loving home that you will provide…no doubt in my mind!

  13. You sound EXACTLY like me!!!

    My hubby would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to already have another little one but I have been so nervous about being pregnant again, I HATED it.

    We have been discussing for months now and I start to think I am ready then, BAM, I totally freak out again.

  14. I was nervous about having a second small and early baby only to have far, far worse stuff with number two. The fear part was bad but I just kept telling myself the perinatologist would catch anything in time. Now, the vomiting, that is enough to make me never want to be preggers ever again. Good luck with your decision.

  15. Mamá Terapeuta says:

    Hard topic for me as for everyone else I think. To me it's complicated because pregnancy puts my life at risk since I have Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (which of course was diagnose after my daughter was born and 10 years of personal health problems). So… It's too much risk in my opinion.
    I'm considering having a biomedical treatment for a couple of years to see if my body can be in better shape for another pregnancy but there is always adoption!

  16. Aviatrixt says:

    Such a dilemma. I know that pregnancies are different–and first pregnancies are notoriously more fraught than the first. I would imagine that raising a special needs child would make a second pregnancy unduly stressful, as well.

    I hope you're able to find someone who can help allay your worries if a second child is what you guys decide you really want.

    PS–That grass is so so yuck–I hate it, too! Always have. Charlie's totally on to something there.

  17. Aviatrixt says:

    I meant to say…first pregnancies are notoriously more fraught than the second.

    My pregnant brain not function great.

  18. I can't say I relate to you on this one; I had dream pregnancies. It's during baby's first 6 months that I tend to lose it.
    Maybe if you do get pregnant, you could use parental blocks to keep yourself out of certain sites. 😉

  19. Jessica says:

    I have really easy pregnancies but even then I dont think its that fun. I'm just really fat and tired :) also with the second it was really lame because it was hard to carry Paxson around and play on the floor and do therapy. Now, that being said, Margaux is a doll and we are so happy to have her and the pregnancy is well worth it after the fact. you just have to keep your eye on the prize!

  20. That's where I am so strange….I LOVE being pregnant and dream of being pregnant again. But alas, there are no plans for a 4th Sorenson child.

    Love your Easter egg hunt :) perfect for Charlie! (even if he wasn't fond of the grass)

  21. Anonymous says:

    I can fully understand your fear & dislike of being pregnant. For me, I was sick 24 hrs a day the first 3 months, then again towards the end for a month or so & so much water retention! I remember pining "I just want to feel normal again!"

    The best part was feeling the baby move, yet I was fraught with worry as well. Will I miscarry? Have a stillbirth? Will the child be disabled in some way? It's horrible what we let our minds do to ourselves.

    I refused to make any purchases or get a nursery ready until the last minute for fear that something bad would happen – crazy, I know!

    After a little scare during childbirth (Jeff had been in distress & an emergency C-section was performed) he was perfectly fine. Yet still, I had to check every 1/2 hour or so to make sure he was still breathing (and I wonder why he was never a good sleeper!) My what stress!!!!

    Although we had always expected to have more than one kid & we talked about it on occasion, we always came up with an excuse to put it off. The decision to have the 1st one is so much easier than the 2nd – simply because you aren't as naive. But, suddenly time has gone by, the kid is old & you realize you really don't want to start over again.

    So even though there are some regrets, we've thoroughly enjoyed having the one child & both being able to support him in whatever he does.

    Let's be optimistic, in regards to all that can & does go wrong during pregnancy, childbirth & life, you have to realize that you've lived through & are dealing with the nightmare. You're an awesome mom & Charlie is thriving.

    Of course it's not easy but you're doing it! You have the confidence to know that in whatever life hands you, you can survive.

    Do what you do best, analyze the options – but don't let fear stand in your way!


  22. It's a hard decision, and there are a lot of options–but you'll make the right one for you. You're such a good mom–even if you were a lunatic pregnant person! 😉